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Another MNA, Bhootani, leaves government, joins opposition alliance

Zardari says Chaudhry Pervez Elahi can never become Punjab chief minister as he lacks the required votes 8Says he believes establishment is ‘neutral’

Mohammad Aslam Bhootani, an independent Member of the National Assembly (MNA) elected from the Gwadar-Lasbela NA-272 constituency, has decided to quit the ruling coalition and join hands with the opposition trying to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan through a vote of no confidence.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference alongside PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Bhootani, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership for remaining part of the ruling coalition and said Chaudhry Pervez Elahi can never become the chief minister of Punjab as he lacks the required votes.

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Zardari said they invited the Q-League to become part of their movement to “save Pakistan but due to its shortsightedness”, the Punjab-based party went to the other side. “Pervaiz Elahi can never become the chief minister of Punjab as he doesn’t have the required votes,” he said, adding that the change of hearts by the Chaudhrys was perplexing. He said the next chief minister will be from the opposition as it has the required numbers in the province.

In response to a question, Zardari said he believes that the establishment “was neutral”. Speaking on the occasion, PPP Chairperson Bilawal said it was a habit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to level false accusations and added the opposition has more than enough numbers to dislodge Imran Khan. He said the PPP wanted to have “long-lasting relations with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P)” for the uplift of Karachi.

Aslam Bhootani, meanwhile, said he has also joined the opposition alliance for the sake of Zardari. “I am hugely indebted to Zardari and I will go anywhere he asks me,” he added. The statement comes in the wake of a deal between the ruling PTI and the Punjab-based party wherein Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to give the coveted slot of the Punjab chief minister to Pervaiz Elahi in return for the support on the no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition.

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The deal reportedly prompted a rift within the party with Tariq Bashir Cheema revolting against the decision and announcing to vote against PM Imran. Cheema also resigned from the federal cabinet, giving rise to speculations regarding a rift in the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.

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